WORKERS in Ekiti State on Sunday reacted to a “solidarity strike” the state governor, Mr Ayo Fayose, said he was embarking on and said what they needed was money not sympathy.
The labour in the state maintained that what the workers needed “is at least payment of three months salary to actually authenticate the sincerity of the self-imposed strike declared by Governor Fayose.”
The Chairman of the Trade Union Congress in the state, Mr Odunayo Adesoye, who spoke with newsmen in Ado Ekiti, said “the level of poverty among the civil servants has become burdensome and unbearable to the extent that they have become beggars.
“We appreciate the governor for sharing from our pains and anguish. But the workers will appreciate and commend him the more if he can pay at least two or three months salaries out of five months owed.
“Our situation has gone beyond the governor declaring mere solidarity strike. We need more of actions now than talks because our situation is gradually becoming hopeless.
“Some of us have the intention of going to work, but no money to pay for transport fare. Some of us could not take two meals a day. Some could not cook soup with ordinary fish, so our situation has gone beyond what anyone could trivialise.
“But I want to say that we are resolute to fight on, because it is an issue that borders on our welfare, careers and prosperity.
“We appeal to the workers to be law-abiding. We want them to be civil, even in the face of provocation. By the grace of God, we shall all rejoice in the end,” he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Fayose has replied the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, attributing the state’s inability to pay workers salary regularly to the current downturn in the nation’s economy and the heavy loan burden left by his predecessor.
The governor, in his response to the NLC president’s letter on the ongoing workers strike in the state, called on the NLC to join the advocacy for fiscal restructuring in Nigeria with a view to reviewing the federation allocation formula in favour of states, towards a lasting solution to the palpable indigent status of most states.